Immediate past managing director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, Dr. Oluropo Owolabi has called on the aviation regulatory body in Nigeria, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to approve a uniform tariff for ground handling companies with an allowance of 5 per cent for each company to play with if they need.
He urged the NCAA to intervene on the issue of ground handling tariff charge among the foreign airlines operating into the country to arrest capital flight.
Owolabi made the call over the weekend while speaking with journalists shortly before his gloriously exit as the chief executive officer of the foremost ground handling company with best warehousing in Africa.
Owolabi lamented that the foreign airlines operating into Nigerian airports milk the nation dry by charging exorbitant fares but pay peanuts as ground handling tariff.
He noted that Nigerian airlines operating foreign services pay through their noses to get similar services in foreign airports.
The outgoing CEO said this was so because of the issue of disagreement or lack of trust over the tariff charge between the two major ground handling companies operating in the country.
“How long would an investor wait to recoup such money and then we have these airlines that are not ready to allow you increase the tariff. I am appealing to NCAA to look into issue of both SAHCOL and NAHCO on the issue of tariff. While foreign airlines milk Nigeria dry on tariff, Nigerian airlines which operate to foreign countries, pay through their noses. This is because the foreign airlines are playing upon the issue of little disagreement or distrust between the two major ground handling companies which is not suppose to be,” he said
Owolabi said the problem started when the ministry of transport relinquished the role of tariff fixing to the regulatory body.
He observed that what used to obtain was having a uniform rate for the ground handlers and give them five percent allowance to play with.
Owolabi lamented the present situation where NCAA approves different tariff for ground handlers at the same time.
He explained that this, foreign airlines have seen all that and decided to exploit to their advantages and disadvantage of the nation’s economy.
On how foreign airlines could work with the domestic operators in a symbiotic environment for the growth of the industry, Owolabi said: “My take is that foreign carriers need the local carriers to be able to have some feeders from the inner parts of the country more so that our roads are not highly rated for safety”.
Speaking on the problems in the aviation industry in Nigeria, Owolabi said, “In aviation we have too many problems that need surgical operations that needed to be sorted out one after the other.”

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